Craft Bits — Bedazzled Botanicals, Handmade Fashion, Bespoke Vintage

Posted by on Feb 07, 2011

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This week we’re bedazzling flowers, carving Xboxes out of wood and chasing Ninja Turtles out of the gutter all while dressed like it’s 1949.

purple flower sculpture
Bedazzled Botanicals

Floral artist Makoto Azuma, in conjunction with Swarovski Crystal Elements, created six drop-dead-gorgeous botanical sculptures for Numero Tokyo's Jan/Feb issue. Between the velvety dark backgrounds and carefully composed blooms, finding the crystals is like playing a more luxurious game of Where’s Waldo. Fancy.
Check out more of Makoto Azuma’s Swarovski sculptures here!
wooden xbox sculpture
Here's Something Completely Different 

An Xbox carved out of wood, from artist Ben Winfield. The details are all there, right to the output jacks and various buttons. Sadly, it doesn’t really work, but makes for a cool piece of art. As for me, I’m just happy with my lovingly maintained Atari.
See more of Ben Winfield’s wooden Xbox sculpture here!
ninja turtle image reaching out from drain
It’s Raphael, Right?

From the list of 12 Creatively Placed Street Art comes this image of a Ninja Turtle reaching for pizza from his sewer home. Only now does it occur to me just how creepy it is that Turtle HQ was located in a sewer. Ick.
See what else made the list of 12 Creatively Placed Street Art.
handknit sweater
Keith Beaty/Toronto Star
Really, Handmade Fashion Is Back 

Although we hear that every season, this time it’s not just from a high-end designer. Now, mass-market retailers like Club Monaco are adding things like hand-knit sweaters (like the one at the left) to their lines. Hopefully they’ll add something for those of us who don’t subscribe to the Starsky & Hutch look.
Read more to find out which designers and retailers offer handmade clothing items at The Star.
vintage reproduction clothing
Yana Paskova for The New York Times
Everything Old Is New Again

More and more labels (like the Bettie Page brand) are offering vintage reproduction clothing, with most of the growth happening online. Which is great for us vintage-lovers out there who no longer have the time to sort through bins at Goodwill. At least to some extent: While the repro stuff is super-cute, I’ve found the fabrics/construction to be cheap. Like, on par with Forever 21. So, ask the Customer Service department questions before you buy that $150 wiggle dress.
Check out where to buy more vintage reproduction clothes at The New York Times.
handmade custom bicycles
Jm Merithew/
Everything Is Cooler on the West Coast

Jeremy Sycip creates lovingly handcrafted custom bikes out of his shop in Santa Rosa, California. They’ve become status symbols among those smug types who live in places where they can ride a bike in traffic without the risk of being run over repeatedly. Regardless, his bicycles are truly things of beauty and his story warms the heart of anyone who wants to turn their passion into a business.
Check out Sycip’s handmade custom bikes.
gin mill
Katie Bilboa/NPR
Prudence the Gin Mill

Behold, the first gin still to be licensed in London since the early 1800s, located in a development of unassuming Victorian townhomes. A thing of beauty for us gin-drinkers. (I’m partial to Philadelphia’s Bluecoat gin, handcrafted in small batches from a 1700s recipe.) The still is named "Prudence" and helps crank out batches of London Dry Gin. Says the distiller, Jared Brown: “If I leave this world with people drinking better than when I came in, I’ll die a happy man.”
Read more about Prudence the gin mill and London Dry Gin at NPR.

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